TAMPA — Dwayne Roloson wants to play another season.
The Lightning goaltender, at 42 the league's oldest player, said age should not preclude him from perhaps finding an opportunity over the summer.
"I don't," he said when asked if he feels 42. "It's a miraculous thing, if you really want to say that. My body feels great."
Roloson made a case for himself in Thursday night's 3-2 shootout victory over the Oilers at the Tampa Bay Times Forum with 34 saves and four more in the six-round shootout that also ended 3-2.
" 'Roli' played great," coach Guy Boucher said. "He played solid, looked in control. I really liked his game."
He also liked Tom Pyatt's two second-period goals that produced a 2-1 lead, calling them "blue-paint" goals because they were from on top of the crease.
Pyatt's first career two-goal game gave him 10 goals, dwarfing his previous best of two.
Roloson was the story, though, as he outplayed Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who was playing his first game in Tampa since winning Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup final for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay (33-33-7), which snapped a three-game losing streak, needed everything Roloson had.
Edmonton had a 36-21 shot advantage, including 11-1 in the third period, when Ladislav Smid's goal on a backdoor play with 3:47 left tied the score.
"It's just a win for us," Roloson said. "There's no personal anything. It's a team win. Now it's over and done with, and we have to focus on the next game."
Roloson, whose contract is expiring, can say that, but the truth is he needs these last games to make his case for another season somewhere.
The win was his first since Feb. 16 and his first start since Nov. 17 in which he allowed fewer than three goals. He is 9-14-2, and the 3.77 goals-against average and .880 save percentage with which he entered the game were last in the league among goalies with at least 30 games.
Boucher said Roloson has worked in practice staying calmer in net. It paid off on Linus Omark's breakaway with 6:25 left in the third period; Omark slid a changeup that Roloson stopped with his right skate to preserve the 2-1 lead.
"I've seen him do it once or twice," Roloson said of Omark's move. "Fortunately for me I could stay with it and get a toe on it."
So what if Ryan Smyth's shootout-ending shot hit a post.
"Roli is one of the best competitors in the game," center Steven Stamkos said. "For how old he is, what he's doing is pretty amazing."
Asked if Roloson looked 42, Pyatt said no:
"He looked 22."
For one game, at least.
|Lightning wins shootout 3-2|
|Lightning wins shootout 3-2|
First Period—None. Penalties—Smyth, Edm (high-sticking), 16:34.
Second Period—1, Tampa Bay, Pyatt 9 (Hedman, Connolly), 3:24 (pp). 2, Edmonton, Omark 3 (Whitney, Smyth), 9:57. 3, Tampa Bay, Pyatt 10 (Wyman, Wallace), 18:18. Penalties—Smyth, Edm (hooking), 1:46; Mikkelson, TB (tripping), 5:26; Sutton, Edm (hooking), 11:13.
Third Period—4, Edmonton, Smid 4 (Nugent-Hopkins, Gagner), 16:13. Penalties—None.
Overtime—None. Penalties—Petry, Edm (tripping), 3:00.
Shootout—Edmonton 2 (Eberle NG, Gagner G, Omark NG, Hemsky G, Hartikainen NG, Smyth NG), Tampa Bay 3 (Pyatt NG, Malone NG, Stamkos G, St. Louis G, Hedman NG, Purcell G). Shots on Goal—Edmonton 15-10-11-0—36. Tampa Bay 7-10-1-3—21. Power-play opportunities—Edmonton 0 of 1; Tampa Bay 1 of 4. Goalies—Edmonton, Khabibulin 12-19-7 (21 shots-19 saves). Tampa Bay, Roloson 9-14-2 (36-34). A—17,893 (19,204). T—2:29. Referees—Eric Furlatt, Gord Dwyer. Linesmen—Darren Gibbs, Jonny Murray.